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“Science” Is Often Fake

By May 24, 2023Commentary

I have posted about this before.  Scientific journals, of which there are thousands, are full of literally fake papers–just made up stuff designed to enhance the authors resume.  A recent paper by a researcher dedicated to identifying fake scientific papers finds an astounding percent were fraudulent, using a simple detection method.  Other articles commenting on this paper have noted that other groups are developing even more sophisticated methods of identifying made-up research.  What is particularly perplexing is that the journals themselves are not doing a better job of screening papers.  They appear to just be happy to get any content without checking it.  As you might expect, Russia, China, and India are the leading sources of these papers.  An astounding 25% of all papers had the earmarks of being fake.  That was a potential total of 300,000 papers.  Imagine trying to gather information on a topic, doing a research search and not realizing that potentially a forth of the studies you read were falsified.

And note that these are examples of outright fraud.  A bigger problem in many ways is methodological abuse in otherwise legitimate research.  In climate studies for example, authors routinely make questionable adjustments to raw data and use statistical methods that are designed to reach the conclusion they desire.  The combination of outright fraud and data and statistical manipulation are one reason public confidence in science has declined.  This is truly a tragedy, by scientific institutions are to blame by not doing better research policing, and by increasingly emphasizing ideology and results consistent with ideology, over finding the truth.   (Medrxiv Paper)

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • James L. Edholm says:

    Kevin – This is truly astounding if not surprising. I wonder how the “follow the science” crowd would react if we could ever get a handle on this.

  • Rob says:

    Hallmarks, not earmarks. Let’s not use the illiterate use the language of the current MSM and “intelligence “ “communities”.

  • Rob says:

    On top of purposely fraudulent papers, there are the papers that are sloppy, speculative, and just plain wrong WITHOUT being fraudulent.

    The actual batting average of scientific research is a bit below.200. This is well known among R&D in the private sector. The idea that government-funded research would be equal or better – when the likelihood is that it would be worse since it isn’t attracting private funding – is just propaganda.

    I seriously doubt more than a handful of people reading the papers can even make a funding distinction let alone understand the economics behind it.

  • Mark Luhman says:

    He who pay for “research” generally get the answer they want, pal reviewed or not.

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